RADFORD – The votes are in, and the Eastern Redbud has been chosen as Radford’s official city tree.
The tree must be adopted through ordinance by the Radford City Council to become official.
At the city council’s meeting earlier this month, Radford Mayor David Horton made the announcement.
“The winner, by far, is the Eastern Redbud,” said Horton. “The little heart-shaped leaves are just like the Heart of the New River Valley.”
Radford’s city slogan was, for many years, the Heart of the New River Valley.
Horton said the Radford Beautification and Municipal Forestry Commission plans to present the city council with an ordinance to officially adopt the Redbud as the city tree. He noted that the Common Paw Paw tree, which came in second in the voting, and the Carolina Silver Bell would also be recognized in the ordinance as “trees of significant culture and natural heritage” to the city.
The effort to name an official city tree for Radford was spearheaded by Jesse Kelly, who operates a non-profit called Nursery Natives, the mission of which is “restoring native ecosystems, food sources, and community, one tree at a time.”
Dr. Matt Close, co-chair of the Radford Beautification and Municipal Forestry Commission, addressed the city council in September about the importance of the city’s urban forest tree inventory and said he hopes adopting an official tree is just the start of ordinances that can protect and enhance trees with regulations on how to properly remove and prune trees, replant deforested areas, and more.